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You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Transparency is key to public confidence says CCC - 28 September 2018
You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Transparency is key to public confidence says CCC - 28 September 2018
You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Transparency is key to public confidence says CCC - 28 September 2018

Transparency is key to public confidence says CCC - 28 September 2018

Today marks Right to Information (RTI) Day and the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) is reminding Queensland’s public sector agencies that transparency is the key to maintaining public trust.

CCC Chairperson Alan MacSporran QC said the 2018 RTI Day theme of ‘Trust and Transparency’ highlights the importance of public servants acting with integrity.

“It’s not enough simply to say we believe in being transparent and accountable, we have to demonstrate that we are by our actions and our attitudes,” Mr MacSporran said.

“Elected officials, police, public servants and the CCC all depend for their authority on the degree of public confidence they engender. Trust is fragile and once lost, it is difficult to regain.”

Mr MacSporran cited the examples of several recent CCC investigations in which a failure to be transparent had resulted in a loss of community confidence in those involved.

“The use of private email accounts by elected officials, which we saw in two recent investigations, created perceptions that they were conducting business that they didn’t want voters to know about, and didn’t want kept as public records.

“Last year’s Operation Belcarra looked closely at the lack of transparency in local government with regard to candidate independence, campaign funding and political donations.

“In that case, we recommended to the government to bring in legislation to improve transparency because it seemed that not all local government candidates could be trusted to declare information voluntarily or in accordance with existing frameworks,” Mr MacSporran said.

The CCC applies the same standard to its own activities and has taken steps in recent years to improve the transparency of its work.

“Here at the CCC we are holding more public hearings, and live-streaming them, so the people of Queensland can see for themselves how we explore issues and why we make particular recommendations,” Mr MacSporran said.

“The public has had a front-row seat as we’ve looked at the merits of making corruption allegations public, issues in local government elections, and safety and standards in correctional facilities.

“We appear publicly before our Parliamentary oversight committee three or four times a year, and at those meetings we present them with a performance report, which they make public via their website. We also appear at Budget Estimates, and all those sessions are live-streamed. Every person in Queensland is welcome to watch us answer questions in those forums.

“Obviously we have to keep sensitive operational or investigative information confidential, but whenever possible I want us to be open and transparent about the work we do.”

The CCC is an official partner of RTI Day, which is led by the Office of the Information Commissioner. The day acknowledges the Right to Information Act 2009 and its contribution to facilitating greater access to government-held information.

For general information about RTI Day go to: https://www.oic.qld.gov.au/training-and-events/right-to-information-day

The CCC is an independent agency combating major crime and reducing corruption for the benefit of the Queensland community.

ENDS

Last updated: 28 September 2018
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